Of the most common tick-borne diseases in the North Hemisphere, Lyme disease is the most prevalent although incidences of it have been reported in Europe and as far away as Russia and China. Lyme disease is essentially caused by no less than three bacterial species belonging to the Borrelia genus of bacteria and is found in blacklegged ticks, which resemble black dog ticks.
Lyme disease was first detected in the 18th century in Germany but was not fully acknowledged and documented until almost 1910. In the 1940s, it was realized that the disease responded moderately well to penicillin. Extensive studies were then conducted and more drugs were developed that could counter the disease in its early stages. In rare occasions, Lyme disease can actually be transmitted from mother to their unborn child and in serious cases; this can actually result in a stillborn. Initially there were reports that Lyme disease was actually a sexually transmitted disease but this was later proven false. It also used to be thought that the presence of animals such as dogs, cats and farm animals were all that was needed to transmit the disease but later discoveries also show that Lyme disease can be caught by simply being outdoors and not necessarily in close proximity to animals. As we mentioned, it is not a fatal disease and can be treated if detected early.
The disease seems to affect people different and its severity varies from person to person. One of the great strengths of Lyme disease is that it imitates other well-known symptoms meaning it can be quite some time before someone discovers that he or she has contracted the disease. This is because its symptoms resemble that of many other common maladies.
Its symptoms include fatigue, fever, headaches, depression and even skin rashes called erythema. Lyme disease is not fatal in most cases and responds well to powerful antibiotics. However, sometimes the invalid does not know that they have contracted the disease and may ignore the symptoms because they resemble those of a common flu. If ignored, the symptoms can develop and affect the joint, the heart and even the nervous system causing sleep irregularities and severe fatigue. Lyme disease has also been known to result in stiff-necks, lethargy, muscle pains, and joint inflammation. In its latter stages, Lyme disease may become difficult to treat and the patient may need additional care beyond just oral antibiotics.
To combat Lyme disease and its symptoms,
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